Norman Lear and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) are to feted at the 76th annual Peabody Awards on May 20 in New York. In making the announcement, Peabody spokesperson Margaret Blanchard saluted Lear for his ground-breaking TV shows and the ITVS for its landmark documentary films.
Lear, who is to receive the Individual Award, is being lauded for his “watershed shows of the ’70s when no topic was too touchy to tackle — not racial discrimination, not sexism, not homosexuality, not abortion, not even rape. Better than anyone working in television, Lear has created an influential body of work that politicized the personal, personalized the political, and showed us ourselves in all our ridiculousness and nobility.”
ITVS, which was created by Congress in 1988, will be honored with the Institutional Award for helping finance 1,400 documentaries in the last three decades, including the award-winning “How to Survive a Plague” and “The Invisible War.” The Peabody committee decided to single it out because “at a time when public media is under political attack, there is no better time to recognize the vital contributions to public discourse and knowledge than that provided by ITVS.”
The ceremony will take place at Cipriani Wall Street in New York and will be hosted by Rashida Jones, a cast member of the Peabody Award-winning “Parks and Recreation.” And the 76th annual Peabody Awards will air on both the broadcast network PBS and the cablecaster Fusion on June 2.